The 2 most common question we receive as an Ottawa lawyers who focus on personal injury are “Do I have a case” and “How much is my case worth?” . My response is “It depends…” Depends on what? Well, lots of things really.
Factors that determine the maximum amount of compensation
In any given Ontario accident claim there are several factors that determine the maximum amount of compensation in an Ontario accident claim. Here are a few:
Extent of personal injuries – Are they permanent or only temporary personal injuries? Obviously, a permanent injury represents a greater value than if the injury eventually heals.
Cost of care – How much treatment have you received? A person that needs medical care for the rest of their lives will have a much bigger personal injury and accident benefits claim then if the person only needs care for a short time.
Type of personal injury– Are they catastrophic injury such as a spinal cord injury or a brain injury? Is the personal injury life-changing? Or can the accident victim do everything he or she could do before the accident?
Facts of accident – Was the accident severe and dramatic, or was it a minor fender-bender with not much visible damage to the vehicle?
Pre-existing medical history – Did the victim have a non-existent medical history so I can more easily prove that the subject accident was the sole cause of the injuries and ongoing complaints? Or does the victim have numerous prior and similar injuries or symptoms before the accident so the insurance company can raise serious questions about whether the accident was the cause or not?
Can the accident victim return to work?
No 2 personal injury cases are exactly the same
These are examples of the most common factors that can affect the value of any personal injury case in Ontario. But there are many others. There are so many variables that go into an evaluation of a Ontario personal injury claim, no two cases are the same. That means two cases that appear to be similar or identical on the surface (same personal injury, same treatment, etc.) can actually produce widely different settlements and amounts of compensation.
As Ottawa lawyers who routinely reviews personal injury cases, I can also tell you that it may take time to determine the real value of a case. Often times, personal injuries can take months or years to heal. The full extent of injuries is often not known until the accident victim goes through many months or years of treatment. Some personal injuries just take time to resolve.
There is no one right answer, nor formula to use to determine the value of a personal injury. I wish it were that simple. If you want to know the likely value of your personal injury case, you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer. This is especially true if you have a serious personal injury claim, or if you have personal injuries that are severe, and long lasting, and when the medical expenses are piling up. Don’t take chances by damaging your case and dealing directly with an insurance adjustor, or by settling the personal injury case for an amount that is less than what may be fair and what you may need in the long run. Your personal injuries may still be unknown, as they sometimes take years to truly show themselves fully.